About the Author

Susan Jimison Vitek

Susan Jimison Vitek

Susan Jimison Vitek is Executive Editor of Mind, Mood, & Memory, a monthly publication sponsored by Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston that focuses on the latest developments in mental health. Her regular interviews with outstanding Harvard researchers and medical experts have covered a variety of topics associated with the brain, including mood disorders such as depression, neurodegenerative diseases, aging, nutrition, mental stimulation, the brain benefits of exercise, and more. Jimison Vitek is an experienced journalist who has focused on health issues for a variety of publications, including major national newspapers. Over the years, her writing and editing career has encompassed projects ranging from reporting for national health agencies and pharmaceutical companies to authoring a diet book and documenting the progress of innovative programs for the New York City criminal justice and social service systems.

Articles by Susan Jimison Vitek

An Overview of Dementia Medications

Daily

An Overview of Dementia Medications

Alzheimer’s disease treatment is, in many respects, still a question in search of a definitive answer. No Alzheimer medication can halt the forward progress of the disease or prevent its ultimate devastation on the lives of those who have it.

Yet Alzheimer dementia medications are available that can help relieve some

Is Dementia Hereditary?

Daily

Is Dementia Hereditary?

Your genetic background is responsible, at least in part, for your propensity to inherit certain medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other dementias. The more family members you have who are affected by certain types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, the greater your risk becomes. So, strictly speaking, is dementia

Lewy Body Dementia: Outlook and Action Steps

Daily

Lewy Body Dementia: Outlook and Action Steps

Researchers are exploring new approaches that are increasing scientific understanding of dementia with Lewy bodies (or DLB). In one study, the transplantation of stem cells into DLB-damaged areas of the brains of mice revitalized those regions and resulted in dramatic improvements in the animals’ cognitive and motor symptoms, raising hopes

Dementia Types: Reversible and Irreversible Dementia

Daily

Dementia Types: Reversible and Irreversible Dementia

Various dementia types can be caused by medical or psychiatric conditions, among them high fever, vitamin deficiency, head trauma, or depression. These are the so-called “reversible dementias.” Other dementia types are irreversible and—if you’re wondering, “Is dementia hereditary?”—can be caused by family genes.
Let’s look at reversible dementias first. It’s important

What Is Vascular Dementia?

Daily

What Is Vascular Dementia?

Vascular dementia (VaD) ranks second among memory loss causes after Alzheimer’s disease, yet it is often overlooked. But what is vascular dementia?
The condition is caused by vascular problems affecting memory regions and supporting structures in the brain, and is closely associated with cardiovascular disease and cerebrovascular disease. Causes of vascular

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How Memory Works and How to Improve It

Age changes the brain’s memory functioning, and even its structure, in ways that may adversely affect how older adults learn, store, and recall information. However, the good news is that it may be possible to delay or prevent these changes by adopting strategies and behaviors that promote youthful levels of

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Is the Zika Virus a Threat to Older Adults?

The Zika virus is widely known as a cause of microcephaly (underdevelopment of the head and brain) in unborn babies, but new research suggests that the mosquito-borne disease may affect adults as well.

A recent study using laboratory rats has found that exposure to the virus in adulthood causes the death

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Self-Efficacy: The Secret to a Rewarding Older Age

There are a number of possible steps you can take to help maintain your sense of self-efficacy. Some suggestions include:

Work closely with advisors to learn about and plan the course of personal matters, such as finances, medical care, and estate planning. Avoid taking a passive approach that may increase feelings